A group who dubbed themselves the Three Musketeers have been found guilty of planning terror attacks on police and military targets in the UK.
The terror gang, based in the West Midlands, were arrested in August last year after police found a stash of weapons in Naweed Ali’s car which included a pipe bomb and a machete engraved with the word ‘infidel’ hidden in a multicoloured JD Sports bag.
Ali, 29, Khobaib Hussain, 25, and 33-year-old Mohibur Rahman accused police of planting the incriminating evidence, but the jury found them guilty of the plot on Wednesday following a four-month trial at the Old Bailey.
The court heard that the men named themselves after Alexander Dumas’ literary trio in encrypted messages exchanged on Telegram as part of their conspiracy, where Rahman also “celebrated” the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks which took place in Paris in 2015.
He had scratched the word 'Kuffir' into the blade of his machete https://t.co/5JhBbsgTyy
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 24, 2017
Ali and Hussain had admitted preparing terrorist acts in 2012 by attending a terror training camp in Pakistan, while in the same year Rahman admitted having possession of copies of an al-Qaeda magazine which contained instructions on how to make a pipe bomb, the jury heard.
The three men were unanimously found guilty after the jury deliberated for 22 hours at the Old Bailey, while a fourth defendant — Tahir Aziz, 38, was also found guilty of engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts.
Prosecutor Gareth Patterson QC said the attack the men had planned “would be in the UK” but said that prosecutors did not need to identify the target, adding: “It is clear that attacks could be carried out imminently.”
“Scratched onto the blade in capital letters was the word kafir, as you probably know, the word kafir in Arabic means a non-believer or infidel,” said Patterson, of the machete the men intended to use in the attack.
“You may think it is clear what message was to be sent by that item and what use Ali intended to make of it,” the prosecutor added.
As Breitbart London reported in March, other items officers uncovered in Mr. Ali’s Seat Leon included shotgun cartridges, an imitation handgun with an empty magazine attached, and an unfired bullet which jurors were told could have been used in a semi-automatic pistol.